Stop stalling the Women on boards Directive, MEPs tell EU countries 

MEPs will reiterate their demand to move forward on the ‘‘Women on boards’’ Directive, blocked in the Council for years, in a joint debate on Monday.

The Commission proposal for a Directive on gender balance among non-executive directors of companies listed on stock exchanges (the so-called ‘‘Women on boards’’ Directive) was supported by the Parliament back in November 2013. The text sought to address gender inequality by requiring that at least 40% of company board members should be women by 2020 in the private sector and by 2018 in the public sector.

Since then, owing to concerns from several member states, no agreement has been reached and the proposal is blocked in the Council.


According to the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), in 2018 women accounted for only 26% of all board members in the largest listed companies registered in the EU. Only in five member states (France, Italy, Sweden, Finland and Germany) did women account for more than a third (33%) of board members.

Council and Commission statements

2020/2798(RSP), 2020/2799(RSP)

Debate: Monday, 5 October